June 6, 2022

Bobette Grant ’73 made quite the impression as a Texas A&M University student for two reasons: She was a woman in a university student body mostly comprised of men—and she drove a striking and rare 1964 Austin Healey 3000 around campus.

She still drives her prized car today, but the Fort Worth native and her husband, John, are making an impression for a different reason now, thanks to their continued philanthropic support for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

A Change in Plans

Growing up, Bobette split her time between urban and rural settings. Her father owned an electrical contracting company in Fort Worth that prospered when area homeowners transitioned from traditional evaporative coolers to the more powerful refrigerated window units. To relax, the family spent weekends on their Bosque County farm, where Bobette grew up riding horses.

With her sights set on attending Southern Methodist University (SMU), Bobette was surprised to have her application rejected. “My class had only 32 students, and there were four guys who made perfect scores on their SATs,” she said. “I was 16th or 17th in my class, and SMU’s criteria said you had to be in the top half of your class. Any of our students would have been in the top 5-10% at any other school.”

SMU’s loss proved to be Texas A&M’s gain. Bobette’s stellar SAT scores and interest in studying veterinary medicine earned her admission at a time when few women were admitted. “There were only about 200 women on campus at that time,” she remembered. “The only way that women could attend Texas A&M was if they were majoring in a subject that wasn’t offered at another state-supported university. If the major was offered someplace else, you had to go there.”

The thought of being able to help another young adult have that Texas A&M experience motivates me. That Aggie Spirit—pass it on!
Bobette Grant '73

Despite being in the minority, she has fond memories of her time in Aggieland. “I never thought twice about leaving the library late,” she said. “You were always safe. To me, they were all gentlemen.”

However, she did find herself pushed academically. “It was hard! You had to study and work,” Bobette said, adding that she changed majors after struggling with third-semester chemistry. “It was just like Greek to me! I decided to study agricultural economics because that was where most of my hours transferred into.”

Around Aggieland, Bobette was also known for zipping about in her prized Austin Healey, but driving the car to campus proved challenging. “Parking spaces on campus were scarce, so people would drive up, pull behind a parked car and get ready to take that spot,” Bobette recalled. “The professors had to dismiss their classes on time so other Aggies could park and make it to class.”

That Aggie Spirit

The couple has funded three scholarships at Texas A&M to support Aggies in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: a general scholarship and a President’s Endowed Scholarship in their name, as well as a President’s Endowed Scholarship in memory of John’s father, John A. Grant Jr. ’44, who earned a civil engineering degree and helped design a portion of Florida’s turnpike system. They also created a Dean’s Excellence Endowed Fund to support the college’s student learning, faculty enhancement and research activities.

The Grants recently decided to establish a charitable gift annuity through the Texas A&M Foundation that will support an endowed fund for agricultural economics. The couple selected this planned gift because it benefits both them and the university. “This gift provides us with an annual, fixed payment and a tax deduction,” Bobette said. “This annuity takes a load off my mind because I know that I will receive payments throughout my lifetime.”

But far beyond personal gain, Bobette and John really just want to give back. “The thought of being able to help another young adult have that Texas A&M experience motivates me,” Bobette enthused. “That Aggie Spirit—pass it on!”

Interested in receiving an annual payment and supporting future generations of Aggies? Contact Angela Throne ’03 below to receive a personalized charitable gift annuity illustration.